I should have known better than to drink that much coffee. But I couldn’t help it.
Two old friends from our days in Port Angeles were in town today and we met up for breakfast. I was in charge of finding a place to eat Â that was convenient for everybody. I Yelped it, Googled it, and found something that looked perfect.
I was the first to arrive and realized that the place was TINY. I think there were six tables, most of which had seating for two. All were full but there was no one else waiting. A friendly woman greeted me and said it would be a few minutes. She pointed out the coffee pots and mugs near the wall. “$1 bottomless coffee,” said the sign.
My friends arrived a few minutes later and we helped ourselves to coffee. A table for two opened up and we squeezed around it after filling our cups. The server said she might reseat us but a large crowd started filtering in and things began to go downhill. There were people coming in for coffee drinks to go, people waiting to be seated, people waiting for their silverware and their food, people at the counter waiting to pay. And the tiny little kitchen was abuzz.
We sat with our menus and filled our coffee cups again. Both of these women have played an important role in our family’s life and it was wonderful to catch up. At one point I looked at my watch and realized that over an hour had passed since we were seated. People who came in behind us were scraping their leftovers into to-go boxes.
One of my friends politely checked in with the server, who admitted that she had forgotten all about us. It was another 30 minutes before we got our food. Thank goodness for that bottomless coffee cup, although my hands still won’t stop shaking.
When the food finally came it was plentiful and tasty. We cleaned our plates, paid our bill and said our fond goodbyes.
I walked back toward my car as the promised “wintry mix” of rain and snow started to fall. A young couple passed by and I heard the woman say, “Maybe Chinatown. Are we near there?” They stopped, looking a bit lost.
“Chinatown’s that way,” I pointed out helpfully. “Is it far?” she asked. “We just want noodles.” We talked for a few minutes about some other options. They said they were visiting from Bellingham, where they are both studying Geology.
“Well,” I said, reaching into my pocket. “Here’s a little something to make your visit extra special.” I held out the hundred I had stashed there earlier. “Oh, no!” they gasped in unison. “You don’t have to do that!”
I explained about my New Year’s resolution to give away a hundred dollars every week as I tucked the bill between the woman’s fingers. “You can pass it along if you like; whatever you want,” I added.
“That’s an awesome resolution!” said the man, and he reached out to give me a hug. “I’m Travis.” The woman hugged me and said her name was Sammi. “It was his birthday yesterday!” she announced.
“This is awesome!” Travis kept saying. They let me take their photo and I said I would put it and a little a story on the blog. “It’ll be pretty simple. ‘They were visiting from Bellingham. They like rocks. They were hungry.'”
“Yeah, that’s our story!” said Sammi, laughing. “One more hug,” said Travis. “This is so awesome! We’ll definitely pass it along!”
After we said goodbye I watched them walk up the street in the direction of lunch. I couldn’t resist snapping one more picture.
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Serendipity! The unexpected gift that just happens. I love it. It’s not that someone looked like they needed it, because who knows what we really need? You brightened a day!
Michele- So true; I sometimes (still) get caught up in trying to figure out who “needs” the money. It is so hard to know what needs (or reserves) are lurking below the surface. A few people who *appeared* very needy have told me they didn’t need the money, and a few who looked like they were doing just fine had amazing stories of hardship and struggle to share. I have learned that “need” is much more complicated that I thought. Thank you for your comment and your readership!
The final whimsical snap-shot summed up the happiness of this whole story: JOY!! Thank you Jill for putting yet another happy grin on my face, over MY late am coffee. Cheers! 🙂
Thank you!! I loved capturing that moment. Happy New Year to you!
Whoops on that tiny restaurant. But it all turned out just fine, it seems. I can’t drink that much coffee, either, or I’m unable to stop the jitters. These days my stomach also complains. I live in Bellingham, too! If I see Sammie and Travis on the street I’ll say hello. 🙂
Hi DJan – Yes, keep your eye out for these two. Wishing you all the best- Jill
thank you for the act of kindness. I have know sammi all her life, she is a very smart, kind, loving girl. Her life has not always been easy but she has worked hard to make something good out of her life. I know your act of kindness is truly appreciated. I pray God will bless you for this act that lets all know that people are truly good.
Thank you, Lynnea! It is wonderful to hear from you. I sensed a special something about Sammi in just the few minutes we spent together. I believe good things are ahead for her!